John Deere Maintenance Monday: Improve fuel economy through maintenance
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Neil in California. He wants tips to get the best fuel economy for his utility tractor.
Mark Hanna is an extension ag engineer at Iowa State University. He says regular tractor maintenance is the key. To get the best fuel economy and to minimize expenses, the engine has to work at peak performance.
"Getting that right mix of fuel and air in the combustion cylinder is just crucial to getting your best fuel economy on the system, so anything that impacts that is going to be important," says Hanna. "So maintain fuel and air filters quite well. You need to know what that maintenance schedule is, and you need to follow it fairly scrupulously."
Filters trap small particles as air and fuel go into the engine. Over time, the particles build up restricting the flow of air and fuel, which reduces combustion efficiency.
Hanna also recommends being vigilant about cleaning dust and debris from radiator screens, especially if you work in a dirty environment. If they're clogged, air can't flow through to cool the engine. A tractor's engine temperature also affects combustion efficiency.
"That comes down to keeping that engine operating temperature at what it was designed to be, and so you want your cooling system functioning well," says Hanna. "Just on a day-to-day basis being able to exhaust that heat through the radiator fins and that type of deal. And depending on the environment you're working in, keeping those fins clean can be pretty important."
Hanna says your tires can also reduce fuel efficiency. Make sure they're at the proper inflation for the weight they're carrying.
Radio interview source: Mark Hanna, Extension Ag Engineer, Iowa State University
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